Owen Jenkins cannot wait to put himself to the test against Premiership Rugby’s best after the Cardiff Blues secured their place at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series final at the Ricoh Arena next month.
The Blues caused a surprise to top Group A at their own BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park on Friday, qualifying alongside the Ospreys, while Scarlets and holders Newport Gwent Dragons were knocked out.
The Blues’ youthful side captured the home fans imagination with their free-flowing rugby, and 23-year-old Jenkins is now eager to show they can do the same against six Premiership Rugby outfits at the Ricoh Arena on August 7.
“It will be nice to go there, it’s a great stadium and it’ll be fantastic to come up against the best of the Premiership and see what we have to offer,” said Jenkins.
“We didn’t expect to get this far, so coming up against one of the best rugby leagues in the world, one of the richest and most supported will be a fantastic experience, but we won’t just be there to make up the numbers.
“But we’ll be going there on a surface and ground we’re unfamiliar with, and we’ll have to make do without the support of our fans, but we’re confident we can put in a good showing.”
The Blues prevailed in all three of their clashes on Friday evening, including a last-game 24-22 thriller against the Dragons which included a score beyond the hooter from Dane Blacker.
Now Jenkins, part of the Blues side that made the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series semi-final two years ago, believes his teams can head to the Ricoh Arena without fear, or the pressure of expectation.
“We showed we were the best 7s players on the night, even if we aren’t the most experienced team, but the willingness to dig in and the character we showed was a huge credit to the boys. That’s what we want to take with us to the finals.
“The confidence we had was so important, we’re a strong-minded team even if we don’t have the best individuals – that’s what teams will have to be wary of when they us.
“Momentum in 7s swings back in forth, we back ourselves to be able to ride the storm then make our mark, and we’ll be looking to do that when we head to the final too.”
The Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series Finals are at the Ricoh Arena on Sunday 7 August. For tickets and details visit premiershiprugby.com/singha7stickets